By: Daniel Greenfield
Harry Reid called him a “laughingstock” and Grover Norqust’s men accused him of being a “terrorist.” The head of the Chamber Commerce suggested that he learn to sit down and be quiet. Nigeria demanded that he apologize and Chris Matthews accused him of wanting to kill Obama’s baby.
At September’s end, Jonathan Chait at New York Magazine gloated, “Someone tell Ted Cruz the ObamaCare War is Over.”
“Cruz can say, ‘Everyone in America knows Obamacare is destroying the economy,’ and quite plausibly believe it. News to the contrary has never penetrated his mental bunker,” Chait wrote suggesting that Cruz and his allies would end up like the Japanese soldiers on lost islands fighting for a lost cause.
Fast forward a few months and it’s ObamaCare that looks like the lost cause.
A Rasmussen poll places Cruz as the third most influential world leader after Obama and the Pope. Texas Republicans favor him for the top job and he took first place in the Value Voter Summit straw poll. Cruz ties Hillary Clinton in Colorado and beats her among independents.
It’s quite a comeback for a man who was being lowered into the coffin by the liberal media just a few short months ago after a vicious hate campaign with no parallels except the left’s War on Palin.
From one end of the country to the other, the voices of the inevitable, Democrats and Republicans, politicians, pollsters and pundits, in ink-stained print, on the sprawling feeds of cable news and the endless whirl of the Internet, boomed their message.
Ted Cruz was wrong. Ted Cruz was doomed. Ted Cruz would destroy the Republican Party. Ted Cruz was a mad fool for taking on ObamaCare in all the wrong ways. But as the old year tips into the new, Cruz is standing tall and ObamaCare is being torn apart by its namesake in a frantic effort to save his popularity.
Desperation has forced Obama to become Ted Cruz, tearing away pieces of ObamaCare, throwing around delays and postponements for his signature legislation like confetti at a parade.
“One man with courage makes a majority,” Andrew Jackson said. “The Washington strategist said keep your head down, don’t rock the boat, the economy is not going great for President Obama so keep your head down and we will win. Shock of all shocks, we got our butts cleaned,” Cruz said.
“Just keep your head down and we will win races,” Cruz said. “The problem is if you do that, you destroy every single reason anyone has to come up and vote.”
Now the Washington strategists are catching up with Ted Cruz. And so are the polls.
Ted Cruz understood that the impact of ObamaCare on ordinary Americans would be the defining issue of the next election. And he understood that ObamaCare itself would prove him right.
While Republican leaders tried to hold him back, Ted Cruz was getting out in front of the health care policy cancellations, taxes and job cuts. While some Senate Republicans were collaborating in Obama’s illegal alien amnesty, chasing populism with empty gimmicks like domestic drones strikes or delivering empty speeches and bloated budgets; he never deviated from what really mattered.
Ted Cruz was too ruthless, they said. Too arrogant and mean-spirited. Too unwilling to compromise.
And they were right. Ted Cruz was too unwilling to compromise. Too unwilling to choose Green Eggs and Ham, accept ObamaCare as the law of the land and retreat to fighting on the next sinking atoll that the Washington strategists would declare the next great battlefield shortly before they declare it a doomed cause and negotiate another strategic withdrawal to the home islands.
The Republican leadership still favors the great compromisers who compromise on budgets and illegal alien amnesties, and who are never ruthless unless they are stabbing conservatives in the back.
The Cruz Effect forces the Republican Party to choose between style and substance. It can keep its glib unconvincing candidates with perfect faces and perfect hair who have no ideas and nothing to offer. Men whose only virtue is standing for nothing are still the choice of the political machine for the elections of tomorrow where heads will once again be kept down and no harshness will be allowed.
But the definitive figure in the Republican Party is FrontPage’s Man of the Year.
Ted Cruz has emerged as the leading voice of principle in a Republican Party that has become pathetically eager to trade substance for style. He made his stand on substance and in a short few months the pundits and politicians who had abandoned him were forced to do their own sharp turns when he was proven right.
Political parties are not brands of mouthwash or detergent. They cannot be sold through money and repetition alone. Campaign volunteers do not walk through the rain when there is nothing to believe in. Struggling men and women do not mail out checks because they are told to do it. And millions and millions of Americans do not take time out from caring for their families, working a second job and struggling to make ends meet to wait on line and cast a vote for a man whom they do not believe in.
Cruz has brought principle and substance back to the Republican Party. And that has given millions of its supporters who despaired after the defeat of 2012 something to stand for, to fight for and to believe in.
The Cruz Effect happened because one man understood that you don’t keep your head down while looking for popular fights to pick, but you pick the unpopular fights that truly matter and you fight them until they become popular.
Ted Cruz took on ObamaCare and when everyone was done writing his political obituary as a dangerous loose cannon who shouldn’t be allowed to talk without the party’s permission, they looked up from their iPads to find ObamaCare hunched over and bleeding in a corner while Ted Cruz was back in Texas speaking to cheering crowds.
In 2013, he took on ObamaCare, the media and his own party without ever losing faith in the fight. And instead of the fight burying his political career, as every media outlet insisted it would, it buried Obama’s second term instead.
This was the year when Ted Cruz showed the Republican Party what was possible when you fight the good fight for what you believe in. And that is why he is FrontPage Magazine’s Man of the Year.